WASHINGTON – House GOP leaders on Tuesday asked for an investigation into an allegation that former Rep. Mark Foley showed up drunk outside the House page dorm near the nation's capitol, FOX News confirmed.
The allegation first arose during a members-only Republican conference call Monday. Rep. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., said he had heard a rumor about Foley's alleged drunken visit to the page dorm, which is located behind the Cannon House Office Building, one block south of the Capitol.
FOX News has also learned that House Majority Leader John Boehner advised Wicker not to discuss the rumor in detail on the call but to refer the matter more privately to House leadership.
According to a GOP source, Boehner sought to avoid the Wicker story from being leaked to the media. Boehner's called that characterization "completely false" and said Boehner only sought to have Wicker work the rumors through formal leadership channels, not on a party-wide conference call.
Yesterday, Boehner sent a letter to the Clerk of the House, Karen Hass, seeking an investigation. He did not release the letter publicly until late Wednesday.
The letter read in part: "it has been brought to my attention that an alleged incident may have occurred in years past involving former Representative Foley. Specifically, it has been alleged that he may have been seen intoxicated at night outside the U.S. House of Representatives Page Dormitory, possibly attempting to gain entry to the building."
Boehner's letter went on to say "As you are the current Clerk of the House and Officer in charge of the Page Program, I am requesting any and all information your office has regarding this alleged incident and the involvement of the Office of the Clerk at that time and henceforth."
It is unknown when the episode occurred.
However, Rep. Deborah Pryce of Ohio, chairman of the House Republican Conference, sent a letter to Hass saying that U.S. Capitol Police officers stopped Foley from entering the page dorm "within the last several years."
Pryce also said on the same Monday GOP, members-only conference call, lawmakers said that the Director of the Republican Pages "brought specific concerns about then-Congressman Foley's behavior to the attention of the then-Clerk of the House."
Pryce's letter to Hass called the rumors "vague" but "serious allegations" that deserve the Clerk's "full attention and thorough investigation."
"The facts behind these rumors need to be made clear so that we can help ensure the future safety of young people who are left in Congress' charge when they serve as pages," Pryce wrote.
Pryce advised the Clerk if they were unable to complete the investigation, "turn this inquiry over to the Department of Justice."
FOX News' Major Garrett and Jason Vaughn contributed to this report.